Author Topic: My clothes are church appropriate!  (Read 66515 times)

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lellah

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My clothes are church appropriate!
« on: January 09, 2012, 01:30:23 PM »
I attend a small, Mainline Protestant church and am one of the younger adult members.  Our congregation has a hand full of members who have come from more conservative (in all ways) denominations.  We also have a lot of diversity in what people wear on Sunday morning: I personally favor vintage skirts and cardigans; think 1950s librarian.  But one particular church member, who is both elderly and from one of these more conservative traditions, has taken me in hand clothing-wise.   She has taken to suggesting my knee-length skirts are too short and that my collar bone-baring tops are too low cut.  Nearly every week she has some comment about what I have on.  I generally ignore what she's said and greet her affably.

Last Sunday I was wearing a big, woolly turtleneck sweater with jeans and boots because it was especially cold out.  On her way up to receive Holy Communion she bent over and said not-at-all quietly to me in a very quiet sanctuary "I don't care for the dungarees but at least you've covered your bosoms for once."   I ignored her.

My attitude is that, well, only one of us looks crazy and inappropriate.  I was hardly the only person wearing jeans that morning, and several other women dress less conservatively than I do, which isn't really saying much.  I should add that this woman's behavior isn't connected to dementia or similar problems: I've known her many years, and she's always prized her bluntness. 

But, really, yikes. 

Reason

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Re: My clothes are church appropriate!
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2012, 01:33:41 PM »
"How kind of you to take an interest" said coldly as you turn your back applies here. Nothing is really gained here by trying to prove her wrong.

exitzero

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Re: My clothes are church appropriate!
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2012, 01:34:11 PM »
I attend a small, Mainline Protestant church and am one of the younger adult members.  Our congregation has a hand full of members who have come from more conservative (in all ways) denominations.  We also have a lot of diversity in what people wear on Sunday morning: I personally favor vintage skirts and cardigans; think 1950s librarian.  But one particular church member, who is both elderly and from one of these more conservative traditions, has taken me in hand clothing-wise.   She has taken to suggesting my knee-length skirts are too short and that my collar bone-baring tops are too low cut.  Nearly every week she has some comment about what I have on.  I generally ignore what she's said and greet her affably.

Last Sunday I was wearing a big, woolly turtleneck sweater with jeans and boots because it was especially cold out.  On her way up to receive Holy Communion she bent over and said not-at-all quietly to me in a very quiet sanctuary "I don't care for the dungarees but at least you've covered your bosoms for once."   I ignored her.

My attitude is that, well, only one of us looks crazy and inappropriate.  I was hardly the only person wearing jeans that morning, and several other women dress less conservatively than I do, which isn't really saying much.  I should add that this woman's behavior isn't connected to dementia or similar problems: I've known her many years, and she's always prized her bluntness. 

But, really, yikes.

I, of course, am headed straight to hell, but the urge to flash her and say, "here ya go" would be overwhelming.

jayhawk

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Re: My clothes are church appropriate!
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2012, 01:35:11 PM »
My first thought:  She's just jealous  >:D

I don't have any advice, just to tell you that there's probably not too much you can do to change her; I'm sure you're fine and others know you are, too.

Searcher

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Re: My clothes are church appropriate!
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2012, 01:36:28 PM »
Knee-length sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

I'd address it with "Thanks for your concern, but I do not require assistance in clothing selection.  Please consider this a closed subject."

If that doesn't work, you might ask the pastor or elders for assistance.

Yvaine

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Re: My clothes are church appropriate!
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2012, 01:37:14 PM »
From what you describe, it sounds like you are within the norm for this congregation and she is trying to enforce a standard that is beyond that. She's rude and intrusive, and ignoring her may be the best way to go. If you were the only one in the church wearing knee-length skirts and collarbone-baring tops, while everyone else wore ankle-length skirts and turtlenecks, then she'd have more of a leg to stand on--but she'd still be rude in her approach.

mechtilde

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Re: My clothes are church appropriate!
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2012, 01:38:44 PM »
If that doesn't work, you might ask the pastor or elders for assistance.

It could be worth doing that anyway- her behaviour could easily put off potential new members of the congregation.
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jmarvellous

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Re: My clothes are church appropriate!
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2012, 01:38:52 PM »
"I prefer not to talk about anyone's bosoms in church." or "I'm glad your bosoms are covered, too."
:)
--- Edited to cut out some replies I think are indeed too rude.

Gosh, I am really sorry. I hate when people comment negatively on others' clothing choices to them. I can't think of a single moderately kind thing to say back except, "OK" or "Fine."
« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 02:35:40 PM by jmarvellous »

violinp

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Re: My clothes are church appropriate!
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2012, 01:59:26 PM »
Well, that woman would've been apoplectic at my attire yesterday. My dress barely came to my thighs, and the sleeves were split (on purpose). I wore a hat, though.  :P I think "So kind of you to take an interest" would work very well.
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Searcher

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Re: My clothes are church appropriate!
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2012, 02:05:26 PM »
I think "So kind of you to take an interest" would work very well.

Unfortunately this woman might take it literally and not in the spirit in which it is intended.  I think it's too subtle to make clear to her that she needs to stop commenting to the OP on her outfits.

Wulfie

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Re: My clothes are church appropriate!
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2012, 02:29:47 PM »
Knee-length sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

I'd address it with "Thanks for your concern, but I do not require assistance in clothing selection.  Please consider this a closed subject."

If that doesn't work, you might ask the pastor or elders for assistance.

POD. This is probably the best way to handle it.

"I prefer not to talk about anyone's bosoms in church." or "I'm glad your bosoms are covered, too."
:)

Or, "Nobody says 'dungarees' or 'bosoms' anymore. They're just jeans and breasts."

Or "If someone who's opinion I respected said something like that, I'd still pick out the clothes I want."

Gosh, I am really sorry. I hate when people comment negatively on others' clothing choices to them. I can't think of a single moderately kind thing to say back except, "OK" or "Fine."

WOW, not appropriate responces at all. This is simply retaliatory rudeness.

emwithme

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Re: My clothes are church appropriate!
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2012, 03:33:18 PM »
I find it awful when people comment on what you're wearing at church.  To me, as long as you're relatively covered up (ie not embarrassing yourself!), then it doesn't matter what you've got on.  It says more about the person commenting than it does about the one being commented upon (unless, of course, you retaliate rudely). 

My God doesn't care if you're wearing jeans, work clothes or your traditional Sunday best - he just cares that you're there, and what's in your heart. 

Ida

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Re: My clothes are church appropriate!
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2012, 03:39:36 PM »
Seems as though she's looking at you a lot. Hmmmm.
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: My clothes are church appropriate!
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2012, 03:41:15 PM »
I've certainly seen some completely inappropriate clothing for church.  If you have to keep tugging on your skirt to make sure your tush stays covered, it's too short for church!

However, I would never say anything.  OP, your outfits sound lovely and total church appropriate.  I think I'd give this busy body the cut direct and only speak to her when absolutely necessary.

A friend of mine started dating a girl whose family was quite religious so he started going to church with her.  He was taught to wear his best clothes to church and at the time, his best jacket happened to be leather.  Not motorcycle style, just a leather coat.  The minister approached him and told him that it wasn't appropriate attire for church.  My friend looked him straight in the eye and said, 'My mother taught me to wear my best clothes to church and right now, this is the best I've got.'  Not another word was said.
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Ontario

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Re: My clothes are church appropriate!
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2012, 05:05:00 PM »
Outdoor Girl, good response from your friend. I like that, polite but gets the point acrosss.